How to be Visionless
Concerning the lack of vision, this is how it worked for me:
When I pastored my last local congregation, we didn't have a vision statement. Not until the end of my ministry there was there any talk of vision. We had no vision statement meetings, goal setting or vision-casting meetings or anything of the sort. We did talk about values. I resisted for as long as possible the whole vision industry.
We would explore things like grace, generosity and compassion, and things like forgiveness and our solidarity with the whole human race. Things like that. I was confident, and still am, that if you care for the roots then along come the fruits. Provide pasture and protection and the sheep will prosper.
I was right. I was amazed, but not surprised, at the remarkable instances of generosity that I witnessed. The acts of kindness were sweet. Forgiveness, patience and compassion popped up unexpectedly and spontaneously. Remarkable acts of sacrifice would suddenly be performed. Most of the things took place through individuals, quietly, humbly, neighborly. Or there would be an inspiration from someone or a small group to do something. They planned it, did it, and moved on. Sometimes a group would last long enough to complete a project. Sometimes it would last longer. Sometimes it would flop. No lights or horns.
In this way, the church performed like a person not coerced but free. Like its members.
How a church does this is very important. But that's another post.